Titan's south polar vortex seems to float above the moon's south pole in this Cassini spacecraft view.
The vortex, which is a mass of gas swirling around the south pole high in the moon's atmosphere, can be seen in the lower right of this view. See PIA14919 and PIA14920 to learn more. The moon's northern hood is also visible in the top left of this view. See PIA08137 and PIA12775 to learn more about the hood.
This view looks toward the leading hemisphere of Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across). North on Titan is up and rotated 25 degrees to the left.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 6, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 889 nanometers. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.7 million miles (2.8 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 86 degrees. Scale in the original image was 11 miles (17 kilometers) per pixel. The image was contrast enhanced and magnified by a factor of 1.5 to enhance the visibility of surface features.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.